In the outer envelopes of red giants, when the gas cools sufficiently, molecules and solids form. Thermodynamically, the most stable molecule is CO, and it is usually assumed that all the available carbon and oxygen are consumed in the formation of this molecule (Salpeter 1977). If the carbon abundance is greater than the oxygen abundance, then the carbon left over after the formation of CO is available for solid grains. Because carbon is by far the most abundant species available for making solids in these environments, researchers anticipate that the grains are composed of nearly pure carbon in some form. The observations which can be used to infer the nature of this solid phase carbon are discussed. The observations of the dust around carbon-rich red giants are discussed. These results are then placed into their broader astrophysical context.